NME 3 March 1990

Privilege (Fire LP / Cassette / CD)
"Perhaps the most important British pop band of the post-punk era!" salutes the insanely colourful Fire press release, its writers gurgling with pride over their new acquisition. Always one of our more eccentric (see unreliable, obscure, adorable) combos, The TVPs have been toying carelessly with this indie thing for longer than I care to remember, but that shouldn't lessen the importance of 'Privilege', their first long player for nigh-on half a decade.

For what we have here is... well, everything. The TVPs are anything but pedantic when it comes to style, attempting to wear every costume in the musical wardrobe. Casually flicking through the (t)racks you'll find the manic funfair ride of 'The Man Who Paints The Rainbows', almost Cardiacs-like in its absurdity; the immaculate sorrow of 'Conscience Tells Me No', complete with great searing blocks of guitar.

'Salvador Dali's Garden Party' is Frank Sidebottom on acid, Dan Treacy's falsettos sounding dazed and amazed; 'All My Dreams Are Dead' shivers inside, 'Just Like Honey' with added bitterness; while the similarly downtrodden 'What If It's Raining?' is the gutted hangover after Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day'.

The poignancy is perfectly stated. The guitars are lovingly, handsomely harangued. Bassist Jowe Head butts in magnificently. The title track is a nerve-wracking exponent of saccharine-soaked pop. Colours, girls and tears fly in all directions, splashing down with exquisite psychedelic accuracy. What more needs to be said? 'Privilege' is a (master) piece of Dan Treacy's delirious mind. As the man himself says, "It all seems to unreal. . ."

Simon Williams
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